Free agent Lonnie Walker IV agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This comes after the San Antonio Spurs rescinded the qualifying offer they made to the 23-year-old guard.
Had San Antonio not pulled its offer, Walker would have entered restricted free agency, giving the Spurs an opportunity to match any offer sheet submitted by other teams.
Walker is represented by Klutch Sports – the agency that represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis and therefore has a hold in the Lakers’ operations.
San Antonio – the team that knows Walker best – rescinded his $6,311,564 qualifying offer. Maybe that ought to say something.
Granted, the Spurs are fully embracing rebuilding and drafted shooting guards Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley the last few years.
If not wanting to match an offer to keep him, anyway, San Antonio might have just done Walker a favor by letting him become an unrestricted free agent.
Walker has the size and athleticism to succeed in the NBA. He has shown flashes of doing it already. But the 23-year-old is far less polished than ideal for a team that should be urgently trying to win another championship before 37-year-old LeBron exits his prime.
The Lakers also added depth with a few minimum signings: Juan Toscano-Anderson (another Klutch client), Damian Jones and Troy Brown.